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Jul 22

Golden State Warriors Take Step Back On Love, New Ideas

Is there something of a sinking, shoulda known feeling inside me now?  Yes, honestly, there is.

 

This is just what is expected.  The NBA’s offseason is a time where rumors and fantasies abound.  As a Warrior’s fan, I am happy that our team in in the discussion now for the best player acquisitions.  No, I don’t think they have given up on trading for Kevin Love completely.  It seems to be a solid decision to not include Klay Thompson in trade discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves, as has been reported widely.  It was interesting to me to hear that it was Jerry West and Steve Kerr who objected to putting Thompson out there as trade bait.  I would like to read that it was a team decision, which ultimately, it is.

 

Thompson’s value is on the defensive end as a compliment to Curry, allowing Curry to hide on that end of the floor, is very important to the building philosophy of the team.  We see that in the recent additions of Bogut and Iguodala since the new front office has taken over.  This offseason, the additions of Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush show continued desire and results to show for it of adding two-way players that have good size for their position.  If bringing in a superstar player of Kevin Love’s stature means the team gives up a portion of it’s identity, then truly it may not be worth it.

 

Being an armchair GM as I am, I have complete control over what I have with me…  My remote, my PBR, my beef jerky…  I can only wish I had control over the Warriors’ roster.  If it was me, Thompson would be available.  Love is too big a piece, has too much offensive game, has the size, and fits with Curry perfectly.  I can’t say the same for Thompson.  How can I argue this, considering what I just wrote about team building philosophy?  Without Thompson, the Warriors still have many options to guard the best perimeter players in the game.  Iguodala, Green, Rush and Livingston are solid options to guard anyone from Chris Paul to Lebron James. Love, replacing David Lee,no doubt has the potential to become a much better defender, as he is young and could learn from Andrew Bogut.  There are trade rumors I have written about before that included the Orlando Magic getting into the deal, sending Aaron Afflalo to Golden State to make up for the loss of Thompson.  Afflalo is a very similar player to Thompson as a “3 and D” two-way type who has less ceiling, but also is a veteran who comes at a reduced price.

 

Additionally, there are some other ideas that I have not seen come up.  Including Iguodala with Lee in a trade to Minnesota could give the trade legs.  The Warriors, specifically GM Bob Myers would likely be against this idea, as Iguodala was just last summer’s free agent splash.  Many others would likely object to this idea as well, but I love it.  Coming back to the Warriors would be Love and of course the remaining two years of Kevin Martin’s deal at around $7 million a year.  That is enough to get the deal done, and gives the Wolves more talent in return then they are likely to get from anyone else.  It may be enough to take Minnesota’s 2015 first round draft pick back in return.

Iguodala is a redundant player for the Warriors, as Draymond Green is a very similar player, and is more versatile.  Offensively, Green has the ability to handle the ball and pass, is an improving shooter, and is a more willing screener than Iguodala.  On the defensive side of the ball, I am comfortable with Green guarding anyone from a Point Guard to a Power Forward, and sometimes a Center.  I wouldn’t want Iguodala guarding anyone larger than Lebron, and Iguodala’s quickness has deteriorated to the point that he has trouble guarding quick shooting guards like JJ Reddick, as seen in the playoffs last year.  Iguodala also appears to be an overpay, regardless of the fact that the Sacramento Kings were willing to give him more money.  His athleticism seems to be declining.  Offensively, he can be as passive as Andrew Bogut.  It is not conductive for a good offense for two of the starters to be afraid to take an open shot.

The Warriors current roster construction includes 3 players going forward over 30 who are on multiple year contracts at over $10 million per year, Bogut, Lee and Iguodala.  These players all seem to be declining in ability and have had injury issues recently.  This idea rids the Warriors of two of them, and leaves the most valuable, Bogut, on the team… Bogut has shown the ability to completely dominate a game even in the playoffs.

 

So lets just look at potential lineups…

Starters

PG Curry

SG Thompson (still here)

SF Green

PF Love

C Bogut

Reserves

PG Livingston

SG Martin (better scorer than Thompson, gets to the line more, defense not on par, but huge upgrade for the bench.)

SF Barnes

PF Speights

C Ezeli

Others

Rush SG, SF

Nedovic PG (could be cut)

Kuzmic C (could be cut)

Armstrong PF, C (could be cut)

Santa Cruz possible call ups

Cameron Jones (SG)

Orlando Johnson (SG)

Aaron Craft (PG)  I highly expect a call up

James McAdoo (PF)

Love just makes this team so much better.  I know what Iguodala has done, but this clears more cap space, and makes the team younger and better.  This team would be considered a serious contender tor the NBA Championship, and Vegas would have them in the top 4 I guarantee.  This seems to be the best idea to continue to be able to stay under the luxury tax, but not guaranteed, while being a true championship contender for at least the next 5 years.

Now Cleveland is willing to include Wiggins in a deal for Love.  They have upped the ante.  As they intend to sign him soon, they are not allowed to trade him until a month after signing.  This gives the Warriors time to think.

The Fraz

 

 

 

 

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